“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
So, it’s LAWFUL to meet but is it HELPFUL? Does it seek our own good or the good of our neighbors? That’s the question every church has to wrestle with and, by the way, other churches will come to different conclusions, and that’s OK. As a church, we want to model the same humility and charity towards other churches that we would want them to extend to us. All pastors are leading through something unprecedented and doing the best they can.
For Phase Two, out of an abundance of caution for those both inside and outside of our church, the pastors of One Harbor Church feel it is still too soon to regather in large groups. Over 2,000 people worship at One Harbor services on Sundays. Not only are these numbers large, we are in the time of year where lots of tourists visit our area and many of them attend One Harbor services. That further escalates the risk considering these folks may be traveling in from areas with a much higher number of COVID-19 cases. We are uncomfortable with this level of risk and we don’t want to be the source of an outbreak that overwhelms our medical services and takes the lives of people in our community.
Some have pointed out that Lowes and Wal-Mart are open, and they have similar sized groups of people in their buildings. From a numbers perspective that is true. However, the way that the church interacts should look much different than a trip to the store. We are the body of Jesus, the family of God and we LOVE to be together. When we come together, it’s marked with hugs, laying on hands to pray for one another, taking communion, singing loudly our love for God, sitting close and hearing the Word preached together, and having our kid’s play together as they hear about how amazing Jesus is, etc.
Others rightly point out that God is in control and may conclude that we should just throw caution to the wind and begin meeting together as normal. To those folks, we would gently reference the response Jesus had to the temptation to throw himself off of a cliff because God would come through and protect him.
“Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” – Matthew 4:7
So, yes God is sovereign, but we shouldn’t be foolish in a way that tests his sovereignty.
Ok, so we are not meeting in a corporate way indoors yet…so what SHOULD we do? Just hang out at the beach & do yard work until this is all over? Just watch the sermon in our pajamas by ourselves? By no means!